We were asked to speak at the Property Investor Show by property expert, landlord guru and broadcast legend Vanessa Warwick, who runs the community Property Tribes. Joining a panel which included Alexandra Morris from MakeUrMove, Andrew Hughes the mobile homes rental mogul, and Punk Takiar of Raan Investments and Luxome®, we joined a panel discussion on “Futurist Landlord Thinking”.
After discussing the importance of branding for every landlord, and looking at some of the ways value in a property can be increased to raise awareness, rents and returns, the discussion turned to the nuts and bolts of finance. What the audience wanted to know was how to combat rising interest rates, pressure on rents and from taxation and increased competition.
The panel made various suggestions – from differentiation to remodelling to raise income, but we argued property investments are made when an investor buys, and this is where gains are locked in. Much like buying shares when they are low and selling when they are high, this is about fundamentals rather than a series of little tweaks to squeeze out more profits. It's a question of trading style.
Walking round London Excel it was obvious that the market for property advice can be squarely divided into three. First are the ubiquitous property gurus, from major players like Simon Zutshi to the many newbies giving seminars at the event. Second are the professionals, looking for investors to entrust their hard earned cash to their funds and schemes. Finally there are the major developers, including Dubai's EMAAR.
What struck us was two things. First, the rates on offer from the professionals and developers are just too low, whether you're investing overseas or looking for a solid British investment. Take taxes, fees and incidentals from even an 8% return and you're left with a very narrow margin for success. Secondly, the strategies advised by the gurus might be a helpful grounding on property basics, but they all rely on finding the right deals, and that means sweating over standard property portals, calculator in hand, making spreadsheets. It also means using inaccurate rents to calculate ROIs. We think there's a better way...
Afterwards we were treated to an inside view of advances in video technology, and the future of property technology by Vanessa and her husband Nick who is the technical force behind Property Tribes.
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